Seasonal Affective Disorder

It is that time of year again, the days are shorter, the nights are colder, which makes it difficult to stay motivated. For some people, these weather changes are a major trigger for what is called Seasonal Affective Disorder. Clinical Psychologist Elaine Ducharme gave us tips to help treat SAD.

Symptoms specific to winter-onset SAD, sometimes called winter depression, may include:

  • Irritability
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Problems getting along with other people
  • Hypersensitivity to rejection
  • Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain


  • Broad spectrum light therapy
  • Medication
  • Psychotherapy